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Windows 7: Desktop icons turned into notepads

23 Mar 2011   #1
airone

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit.
 
 
Desktop icons turned into notepads

Hi Folks, As crazy as it sounds, that's what happened while I was doing a variety of installs of addons for my Microsoft Flight Simulator FSX program. At some point I noticed that all of my desktop icons had lost their individual picture (graphics) and instead all of them had the Notepad graphic symbol. When I clicked any icon it opened up a Notepad page with some recognizable words as well as other letters and characters (gibberish). Then when I tried to click on other programs in "All Programs", the same thing happened. I tried safe mode and it was the same there. I called for tech help and was told it probably was a virus. I then did a total System Recovery back to Factory Settings.

Needless to say, I'm interested in what may have caused this and to find out if it really was a virus. My computer is 1 month old.

Thanks for your help Howard


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Mar 2011   #2
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Hi Howard,

Malware is a possibility.....can you recall any of the recognisable words in the notepad icons when you opened them? It could also have been something as simple as the icons becoming dissasocciated from the program - something that is easily fixed.

Whats sort of anti-virus/malware software do you currently have installed?

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2011   #3
airone

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit.
 
 

Hi Golden - thanks for the quick reply!

The few words I noticed seemed to be reasonable words for the particular icons (Microsoft, Windows, Flight etc.) Anti Virus/Malware software is Norton Internet Security and is updated automatically.

Cheers Howard
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Mar 2011   #4
Orbital Shark

 
 

Hi, welcome to the forums

Excellent advice provided above and if no infection is found you will find the following tutorial vital if it happens again...

Default File Type Associations - Restore

You will need to restore your .LNK and .EXE file associations.
Note   Note
This can be caused by a variety of things, Malware, Virus or even accidentally dragging an icon over a notepad icon which changes the file association.



OS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2011   #5
airone

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit.
 
 

Thanks Milton - I'll keep this info for the future. Let me say that I'm very happy to have had the quick response to my questions here by you and Golden. Appreciate it and hope I'll be able to add to the site as my experience with Windows 7 grows.

regards Howard
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2011   #6
gregrocker

 

Rightclick one of the offending desktop icons, choose Open With and associate it with the correct program which should be opening it. If you tick the box to have it do the same for all related program icons, it may solve your problem outright.

For best performance, I would migrate to free MS security Essentials or Avast 5 with the Win7 firewall.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2011   #7
JDobbsy1987

Windows 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Hi Airone,

Did you manage to fix this issue?
I have seen this exact same thing at work a couple of times and may be able to dig the fix out.

Regards,
JDobbsy1987
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2011   #8
airone

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit.
 
 

Hi Folks, I fixed the problem by doing a System Recovery on my operating system. Not elegant but it's ok now.

Question for JDobbsy1987: Do you know why this happend at work? I'd be interested in knowing a bit more about it.

Thanks Howard
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2011   #9
JDobbsy1987

Windows 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by airone View Post
Hi Folks, I fixed the problem by doing a System Recovery on my operating system. Not elegant but it's ok now.

Question for JDobbsy1987: Do you know why this happend at work? I'd be interested in knowing a bit more about it.

Thanks Howard
Hi,

I'm not sure what caused it sorry, glad you have managed to fix it though

Regards,
JDobbsy1987
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2011   #10
Kelticprince

Windows 7
 
 
I fixed it!

I tried a ll of the options give here but ultimately found a very simple fix for the problem here: Change which programs Windows uses by default
All you need to do is go in and re-associate which program you want to use with a particular file type (.doc, .docx, etc). It id the trick!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Desktop icons turned into notepads




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